Top 113 Walter Cronkite Quotes of 2020

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“Journalism is what we need to make democracy work.”

― Walter Cronkite

“We all have our likes and our dislikes. But… when we’re doing news – when we’re doing the front-page news, not the back page, not the op-ed pages, but when we’re doing the daily news, covering politics – it is our duty to be sure that we do not permit our prejudices to show. That is simply basic journalism.”

― Walter Cronkite

“As anchorman of the CBS Evening News, I signed off my nightly broadcasts for nearly two decades with a simple statement: ‘And that’s the way it is.’ To me, that encapsulates the newsman’s highest ideal: to report the facts as he sees them, without regard for the consequences or controversy that may ensue.”

― Walter Cronkite

“America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Our job is only to hold up the mirror – to tell and show the public what has happened.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The death of Churchill at 90 was one of those watershed moments in which the obituary rises to a special calling beyond the sharing of remembered times. It gave an older generation a rare opportunity to explain something of itself to its children.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The successful landing on the moon, very probably, is the best story.”

― Walter Cronkite

“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.”

― Walter Cronkite

“A liberal to me is one who – and it suits some of the dictionary definitions – is unbeholden to any specific belief or party or group or person, but makes up his or her mind on the basis of the facts and the presentation of those facts at the time. That defines what I am.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I covered the Vietnam War. I remember the lies that were told, the lives that were lost – and the shock when, twenty years after the war ended, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara admitted he knew it was a mistake all along.”

― Walter Cronkite

“A journalist covering politics, most of us are aware of the necessity to try to be sure we’re unbiased in our reporting. That’s one of the fundamentals of good journalism.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.”

― Walter Cronkite

“It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict, we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I’ve got a 12-year-old grandson who, when he was 3 years old, before he could say many other words, could name the different kinds of dinosaurs.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I don’t think it’s in any way harmful, this marriage of media and politicians. I think it enhances the communications process considerably and makes it possible for the public to be far more aware, far more up-to-date on issues and the opposite sides of the issues.”

― Walter Cronkite

“History must share with reading, writing and arithmetic first rank as the most important subjects in the curriculum. Understanding the issues on which citizens of a republic are expected to vote is impossible without an understanding of the past.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I am joining the hundreds of thousands who shall be marching in the Virtual March on Washington to Stop Global Warming in order to demonstrate the concern that we all hold for the future of our planet and all the living things – flora, fauna, human and animal – that exist upon it.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I had as much time to prepare for that moon landing as NASA did, and I still was speechless when it happened. It just was so awe-inspiring to actually be able to see the thing through the television that was a miracle in itself.”

― Walter Cronkite

“You think you would react one way when a situation develops and, and when the sharp shells are flying, you don’t quite stand up like you think you might.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I learned early on that in the real world, the masks of tragedy and comedy adorn the proscenium of every life.”

― Walter Cronkite

“We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I am a news presenter, a news broadcaster, an anchorman, a managing editor – not a commentator or analyst.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I can swear on a stack of Bibles that not once in doing the ‘CBS Evening News’ for 19 years – well, I take it back. Once perhaps. But during 19 years, with perhaps one exception, was I ever aware of any political or commercial pressure on that broadcast whatsoever.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The military people don’t like it; the government probably doesn’t like it, but the people should know what they’re sending their young people into when they permit their governments to declare war and engage in war.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The democratic system is challenged by the failure in television because our evening news programmes have gone for an attempt to entertain as much as to inform in the desperate fight for ratings.”

― Walter Cronkite

“It’s a little hard not to be an elitist when you’re making millions of dollars a year.”

― Walter Cronkite

“In journalism, we recognize a kind of hierarchy of fame among the famous. We measure it in two ways: by the length of an obituary and by how far in advance it is prepared. Presidents, former presidents, and certain heads of state are at the top of the chain.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Under the Constitution, giving ‘aid and comfort’ to a wartime enemy can lead to a charge of treason.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I do not consider a liberal necessarily to be a leftist.”

― Walter Cronkite

“There were a few youthful fishing trips, but I never enjoyed the experiences, partly because I didn’t like hurting the bait.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I take a certain pride in having maintained a reputation for fast copy throughout my newspaper career. Fast-breaking stories left my typewriter in a hurry. Not great literature, perhaps, but fast, and usually accurate.”

― Walter Cronkite

“We need not only an executive to make international law, but we need the military forces to enforce that law and the judicial system to bring the criminals to justice before they have the opportunity to build military forces that use these horrid weapons that rogue nations and movements can get hold of – germs and atomic weapons.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I haven’t quite got the hang of this retirement thing.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think cameras ought to be everywhere the reporters are allowed to go. I think, furthermore, reporters and cameras ought to be everywhere that the Constitution says the public can go.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I did not believe that the public was sophisticated enough to understand that a newsman could wear several hats and that we had the ability to turn off – nearly, you can’t say perfectly, but nearly – all of our prejudices and biases.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Anybody who’s spent thirteen or fourteen years in print journalism has a lot of stories he thinks were inwardly satisfying as far as preparation, understanding, and diligence.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I’m a liberal, but I’m not biased. Seriously.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I have never voted a party line. I vote on the individual and the issues.”

― Walter Cronkite

“If, as they say, the threat of the hangman’s noose has a powerful way of focusing one’s attention, the same can be said of pregnancy.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I never ceased to be surprised when southern whites, at their homes or clubs, told racial jokes and spoke so derogatorily of blacks while longtime servants, for whom they quite clearly had some affection, were well within earshot.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I wanted to have more time to play and reflect, but I find retirement more stressful than having a nice, steady job because I have to make decisions about where I want to be.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I worry that we’re not getting enough of the news that we need to make informed judgments as citizens.”

― Walter Cronkite

“With all this dolling up and featuring of the news, it’s getter harder and harder just to get the facts of the story.”

― Walter Cronkite

“We have more and more one-newspaper towns, and that troubles me.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Part of the new morality of the ’60s and ’70s is a new attitude toward homosexuality. The homosexual men and women have organized to fight for acceptance and respectability.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I never took any elocution lessons, no diction lessons. I might have been a pretty decent broadcaster if I had, but what you see, I’m afraid, is what you get.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think it’d be great if the evening news broadcast, for instance, were unsponsored and unrated.”

― Walter Cronkite

“No, I don’t think my generation got into this dinosaur thing.”

― Walter Cronkite

“We the people have the strength to bring our country from our weak-kneed stumbling gait in the last ranks of reason to the leadership of the great march to environmental victory.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Court proceedings, except for certain limited situations, are open to the public. This is for the protection of the accused, to be certain to ascertain that there is a fair trial.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I suppose popularity is measured by ratings. If a broadcaster is known as the leader because of ratings, then that’s where people most want to be seen and heard, so there’s no question that there’s an advantage.”

― Walter Cronkite

“A lot of the questions raised about television’s power and influence on events have applied throughout history to every mass-communications medium – most particularly print, because that’s the medium we’ve had the longest.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I’m so tired of stories starting, ‘Maud Jones was walking her dog down Broadway.’ You’ve got to go over to the back page somewhere to finally find out the damn dog was run over by a truck. Get the thing told, for heaven’s sake. Everybody doesn’t have to be an O. Henry.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Helping set the day’s agenda and deciding what we used and editing it, that was a journalistic high point. I liked reporting as well. Just doing the news – the live performance – wasn’t important. Working on the desk was.”

― Walter Cronkite

“On television, I tried to absolutely hew to the middle of the road and not show any prejudice or bias in any way.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Maybe I’m just a slow learner or something, but I like to have things laid out as plainly and simply as possible.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I simply told people what I thought about the state of the war in Vietnam, and it was that we better get out of this.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The perils of duck hunting are great – especially for the duck.”

― Walter Cronkite

“There’s no story that breaks, including a five-alarm fire in Brooklyn, that I don’t wish I were covering.”

― Walter Cronkite

“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Arianna Huffington has exercised her renowned wisdom to give journalism another boost along the ever busier Internet. Her blog site promises to be an interesting challenge for those of us lucky enough to be invited to participate with our occasional contributions.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Grandfather was an old-fashioned pharmacist who never ceased venting his resentment at the growing number of retail items the drugstore had to carry, and he would go into periods of fearful rage when the subject of chain stores was raised.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day – 23 minutes – and that’s supposed to be enough.”

― Walter Cronkite

“And that’s the way it is.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Dan Rather and I just aren’t especially chummy.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The great sadness of my life is that I never achieved the hour newscast, which would not have been twice as good as the half-hour newscast, but many times as good.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I’ve gone from the most trusted man in America to one of the most debated.”

― Walter Cronkite

“There’s a little more ego involved in these jobs than people might realize.”

― Walter Cronkite

“When you’re bringing in a fairly unknown candidate challenging a sitting president, the population needs a lot more information than reduced coverage provides.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think somebody ought to do a survey as to how many great, important men have quit to spend time with their families who spent any more time with their family.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I want to say that probably 24 hours after I told CBS that I was stepping down at my 65th birthday, I was already regretting it. And I regretted it every day since.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think we are realizing that we are going to have to have an international rule of law.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I wouldn’t give up on the U.N. yet.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Give news a little more time, and don’t request that they also, in their news time, entertain. We’re not entertainers. We’re journalists. And we need more time to do our job well.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I hope that, somewhere, Mom and Dad are proud that little Walter is performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I had discovered journalism to be my life’s ambition.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think that the failure of newspaper competition in a community is a very serious handicap to the dissemination of the knowledge that the citizens need to participate in a democracy.”

― Walter Cronkite

“If every small nation with a border dispute believes they can go ahead and launch a pre-emptive war and that it will be approved by the greatest power, that is a very dangerous thing.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Anchormen shouldn’t cry.”

― Walter Cronkite

“In the early stages of our involvement in Vietnam, basically I felt that our course was right. My concern grew with the concern of the American people.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I do think that the success, although still not complete… in the recognition of equal rights… to all Americans, regardless of color, creed and so forth, was also one of the best stories we’ve had to report.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think there are a lot of good pieces that can be covered in 20 minutes that don’t need an hour, but by the same token, there are things that need an hour or more.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I record it here today to establish my early predisposition to editorial work – to be both pontifical and wrong.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Cable has come along; many all-news 24 hour cable outlets in the United States. They have cut deeply into the traditional networks’ viewing audience.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Perhaps if all the peoples of the world understand what war really means, we would eliminate it.”

― Walter Cronkite

“With police wielding unprecedented powers to invade privacy, tap phones and conduct searches seemingly at random, our civil liberties are in a very precarious condition.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think the whole policy of pre-emptive war is a serious, serious mistake.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I looked at the world with the humaneness, I think, which is one of the hallmarks of being liberal in my mind.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I write pretty quickly. Write pretty fast. I was an old press service man. That was part of the necessity of that occupation.”

― Walter Cronkite

“For heaven’s sakes, in the newspaper days, when we had competing newspapers, and the newsstands sale was as important as the circulation – as the agreed-upon circulation, whatever you call that – in those days, why, gosh, the sensationalism was tremendous.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I certainly think cameras ought to be in courtrooms.”

― Walter Cronkite

“It’s hard for us to really understand the immensity so far of the conquest of space.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The whole period of the ’60s changed a lot of us; there was never a decade like that in American history… to have the decade capture one of the great accomplishments of this century: man landing on the moon.”

― Walter Cronkite

“When I stepped down from the evening news at the age of 65, in ’81, things were still going well. Immediately after that, the whole tenor of the CBS News Department changed.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Advertising’s always been a considerable pressure on publishers.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think people make way too much of ratings.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I don’t believe in these headline-hunting interviews. That’s just not my style.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I’m one of the best condensers in the business.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Watergate just happened to come along at the same time as the demand for honesty in relations between the sexes, in advertising, in ecology, in almost everything. It just stumbled into that great big elephant trap that had already been built for it.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I guess taking a stand is valid for a commentator. But that’s not what I am.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I feel no compulsion to be a pundit. As a matter of fact, I really don’t have that much to say about most things. Working with hard news satisfies me completely.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Sometimes a famous subject may even outlive his own obituary writer.”

― Walter Cronkite

“Beyond being timely, an obituary has a more subjective duty: to assess its subject’s impact.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The very first time a politician puts you in his target is sometimes a disappointment, because perhaps you thought you were friends and getting along well… But it is not something that you dwelled on. At least, I did not.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I can’t go into a mob scene and sense the mood and the attitude of the crowd. I can’t conduct man-on-the-street interviews or even get reactions that I can be sure are honest, because they know who I am.”

― Walter Cronkite

“The civil rights fight was a very important fight.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I think that our comfort is in our history.”

― Walter Cronkite

“We have overcome some terrible blows to our democracy, to the future of our democracy, to the future of our nation. We survived the Civil War and the strife that tore this nation apart.”

― Walter Cronkite

“I miss particularly the managing editor role on the ‘Evening News.’”

― Walter Cronkite

“All through my life, I have never disguised my sentiments about politics in general.”

― Walter Cronkite

“It’s always hard, after you’ve been in command, to take a lesser role.”

― Walter Cronkite
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